Business in Newcastle

A gateway to the North East of England, Newcastle upon Tyne is the region's most populous city and one of the UK's largest cities. The city offers businesses excellent links by road, rail, air and sea. Superb broadband connections - among the fastest in the United Kingdom - also make Newcastle an ideal location for businesses. The city also boasts a great quality of life, superior workspaces at competitive prices, and skilled workforce.

Newcastle's Economy

Newcastle was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution. The city was a hub for mining and the international export of coal as well as manufacturing. It was also the source for new innovations such as the invention of the steam turbine and light bulb. More recently, the city has emerged as a centre for office, service and retail industries. Continuing its history as an innovator, Newcastle is also an important home for new low carbon technology. It has been recognised as the Most Sustainable UK City by Forum for the Future and thrives to become the first carbon neutral city.

Home to some 8,340 businesses, the city saw 1,210 new start-ups in 2014 according to the Office for National Statistics' Business Demography Report. (November 2015). The city is one of the leading technology clusters in the UK, with new creative and digital businesses innovating in everything from gaming to cloud computing to mobile apps. In addition to technology and innovation, other key sectors include medical sciences, business and professional services, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, offshore and marine industries, and research and development.

One of Newcastle's most important assets is its talent. Businesses have access to a working age population of more than 1 million people within a 30-minute drive, according to Invest Newcastle. There area has more than 337,000 people with NVQ4 qualifications, while Newcastle itself has a working age population of 67,800 work with NVQ Level 4 and above according to the Office for National Statistics. The city is home to over 50,000 students and two universities (Newcastle University and Northumbria University), with three additional universities found nearby including Durham University. These universities graduate thousands of new talent each year, particularly in the area of engineering, computing sciences, art and design, law, medicine, and business management. There are also major research facilities in information technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and marine research.

Newcastle's excellent transport links include Newcastle International Airport. Just over 20 minutes from the city centre, the airport provides direct flights to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, New York, Dubai and more than 85 other destinations. Newcastle is also well-connected by rail and sits on the East Coast mainline. This means Edinburgh, London, and other major cities in the UK are easily accessible. The city is also served by the Port of Tyne, an all-weather deep sea and deep berth port. The port is a hub for international freight operations. The North Shields International Ferry Terminal is also a base for connections to Europe by sea and is only seven miles from Newcastle.

Supports for Businesses

Newcastle City Council delivers a range of support services for businesses in the city, including support with recruitment and affordable services workspaces at four enterprise centres. The Council has also partnered with Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lender, to provide funding for businesses. Loans of up to £1 million (£3 million for property) are available with flexible terms. The Business & IP Centre Newcastle offers supports at no charge for entrepreneurs and small businesses including opportunities to learn about the skills needed to start and expand a business. It also serves inventors looking to develop their ideas. The North East Growth Hub is another source of business advice with details on local, regional and national supports as well as financing providers.

Approximately 97 per cent of Newcastle has access to fibre broadband, according to Newcastle City Council. There are a number of supports for technology and digital businesses including the Cloud Innovation Centre, a partnership between Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle University Digital Institute. The centre is a source of skills training and other tools thanks to its team of cloud technology specialists. The Council's Go Digital Newcastle initiative also delivers advice and information on accessing vouchers to help businesses with installing high-speed broadband.

Invest Newcastle, an initiative funded by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and Newcastle City Council, provides a number of services to help businesses. Support services include research, intelligence and statistics to help businesses develop and grow. Advice related to recruitment and employee retention, skills and training, property, financing, marketing and public relations are also offered. The Newcastle Gateshead Convention Bureau also provides free advice to help businesses and conference planners organise events, including assistance with sourcing venues and managing event logistics.